USA: The House just passed a 20-week abortion ban. Opponents say it’s “basically relying on junk science.”


The House just passed a 20-week abortion ban. Opponents say it's “basically relying on junk science.”
The bill is based on claims about fetal pain that aren’t supported by research.
Updated by Anna North Oct 3, 2017

The House voted on Tuesday to pass a bill that would make abortion after 20 weeks illegal in every state in the country. Called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, it’s based on the idea that a fetus at 20 weeks’ gestation can feel pain.

“The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will protect the voiceless, the vulnerable, and the marginalized," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House majority leader, in a statement last month. "It will protect those children who science has proven can feel pain.” President Donald Trump has promised to sign the bill if it passes; during the campaign, he said such a bill “would end painful late-term abortions nationwide.”

Continued at source:

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On the warpath: the young women leading Ireland’s campaign against abortion


On the warpath: the young women leading Ireland’s campaign against abortion
Lara Whyte, 27 September 2017

Next year Ireland will hold a referendum on its controversial eighth amendment. Articulate, millennial “pro-life feminists” are leading the charge against reproductive rights.

Irish politicians have been deaf to the clamour of women’s voices calling for abortion rights for decades. Despite being the first country to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote (in 2015), the republic of Ireland still maintains an abortion regime stricter than Saudi Arabia’s.

Abortion is legal in Ireland only when the mother’s life is at risk. The country’s constitutional misogyny has baffled fellow European states and earned it the censure of international groups including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and Amnesty International.

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USA – Abortion ‘reversal’: the latest sham from anti-choice activists trying to end women’s rights


USA – Abortion ‘reversal’: the latest sham from anti-choice activists trying to end women’s rights

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 18, 2017

For years, the US anti-abortion movement has promoted various falsehoods, e.g. that women regret their abortions. Now, some of them are claiming that an unproven treatment can counter the effect of mifepristone, the first pill used in the two-drug regimen of medical abortion, thereby giving women a “second chance” to keep their baby. Despite the hype, there is no evidence that flooding the body with progesterone – a hormone pregnant patients already have a lot of – increases the chance of continuing the pregnancy. In fact, in the extremely rare case that a patient changes their mind before taking the second pill, watchful waiting and inaction appears to be just as effective.

Use of medical abortion pills has steadily risen in the US, now representing almost half of all abortions. Medical abortion has the potential to radically transform the way patients access and experience abortion by moving it out of a clinic and more directly into the hands of the user. It also challenges the anti-abortion movement’s long-standing strategy of demonizing clinicians who do surgical abortions and the instruments they use.

In an independent clinic in North Carolina, a woman who counsels 20-40 patients a week on medical abortion, said that over the past five years since she has been working at the clinic, she has seen only one patient express remorse immediately after swallowing the mifepristone pill. She and the clinic staff helped the young woman to vomit the medication and counselled her on what to do if she began to abort. They did hear from the woman again: one week later when she came back to the clinic for a surgical abortion.

This article  was written in response to an article in the New York Times about so-called abortion pill reversal. The NY Times article is a long, detailed history of the changes in anti-abortion tactics in the USA over a long period of time, opening with the story of a very religious woman who got pregnant with someone who was not the partner she wanted, sought an abortion though it was against her beliefs, and after taking mifepristone, decided it was a mistake. Through a web search she came across an anti-abortion group who oppose the use of medical abortion pills and claimed the effect can be cancelled out by taking progesterone. This claim is based on the experience of only four women whose pregnancies might well have continued anyway. But that has not stopped several anti-abortion state legislatures in the US from passing laws requiring that women be told that “reversal” is possible.

Women who take the mifepristone pill, regret the decision and seek “reversal” are in fact very few and far between. But the anti-abortion view, as explained by Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University, is that peddling “reversal” is worth it “even if the laws are eventually struck down or the protocol turns out to be ineffective. Just raising the question of uncertainty and regret affects the abortion pill’s reputation. You’re changing… what people think about this kind of abortion. You can do that regardless of what the research ultimately shows.’’

In other words, if you tell people the same lie often enough, they may believe you.

SOURCES: The Guardian, by Renee Bracey Sherman, Daniel Grossman, 2 August 2017 ; New York Times, by Ruth Graham, 18 July 2017 ; VISUAL


Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion:

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U.S.: Alternative Science and Human Reproduction


Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

R. Alta Charo, J.D.
June 14, 2017
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1707107

Human reproduction has become the victim of alternative science, rife with alternative definitions of well-understood medical conditions and characterized by rejection of the scientific method as the standard for generating and evaluating evidence. Alternative science begins with alternative facts of the sort propounded by the Trump administration and its appointees, including Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, who has claimed that “there’s not one” woman who can’t afford birth control on her own (despite the high up-front cost of the most reliable contraceptives). Alternative science is similarly embraced by recent executive-branch appointees Valerie Huber, Teresa Manning, Charmaine Yoest, and Katy Talento.

Continued at source: New England Journal of Medicine:

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U.S.: How Anti-Abortion Zealots Pose as Medical Professionals to Trick Pregnant Women


How Anti-Abortion Zealots Pose as Medical Professionals to Trick Pregnant Women

Callie Beusman
May 30 2017

Anti-abortion groups are opening fake clinics near actual reproductive health care providers across the country in an attempt to shame and scare women into staying pregnant.

On an overcast Saturday morning in late May, several protesters had gathered outside of Hartford GYN Center, an abortion clinic in Connecticut. Many of them were clutching rosaries, and some bore signs decorated with images of beatific infants, with the implication that similar infants were in immediate danger of being murdered. They were, by their own description, facing down "the Evil One;" later in the day, a protester would tell me that an acquaintance of hers had once seen the devil himself crouched atop a different clinic and mistaken it for a gargoyle.

Continued at source: Broadly/VICE:

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2017 ISSUE 1, Conscience
Abortion abortion access UK
Increased scrutiny reveals the deceptions and aggressions of antiabortion activists in the UK

By Clare Murphy / Posted Apr 19, 2017

In ‘Debating Abortion on Campus,’ published in the 2016(3) issue of Conscience, Jon O’Brien eloquently made the case for why prochoice advocates should not shy away from debate, documenting the censorship of the antichoice opposition that has crept onto campuses across the United Kingdom and the United States. “In a healthy society, people aren’t afraid to discuss things. We must never be afraid of the battle of ideas,” he wrote. Indeed. So why should women accessing abortion services be an exception, shielded from the ideas and opinions of protesters on the street outside? Should they, as the respected US lawyer and social critic Wendy Kaminer has argued, have to accept that “feeling intimidated, being confronted and ‘stressed’ by people who oppose abortion rights, is sometimes the price of free speech”?

Continued at source: Conscience:

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Ireland: Anti-abortion clinic tells women sex and abortion could kill them


Anti-abortion clinic tells women sex and abortion could kill them
James Wilson
April 05, 2017

Unauthorized pregnancy crisis centers in Dublin are misleading expectant women about the risks of sex, abortion and contraception.

An undercover investigation for The Times found that the Ask Majella and Gianna Care advisory services telling women that contraception was a health risk, there was a link between abortion and breast cancer and sometimes sex even lead women to “die”.

Continued at source: Irish Central:

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UK: Anti-abortion group in tampon tax row removes death penalty comparison


Anti-abortion group in tampon tax row removes death penalty comparison

Charity comes under criticism for receiving £250,000 from government’s tampon tax, but insists support services are unbiased and non-judgemental

by Alice Ross
Monday 3 April 2017

A charity that has been given £250,000 from the government’s so-called tampon tax fund has scrubbed language describing abortion after rape as a “death penalty” from its website after being challenged on it.

The Life charity has now said it will do a full review of its website to remove offensive language, after the Guardian pointed out that the same article referred to abortion in cases of disability as a “death sentence”.

Continued at link: The Guardian:

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Ireland: Delay in reforming abortion advice clinics is inexcusable


Delay in reforming abortion advice clinics is inexcusable
February 21 2017, 12:01am, The Irish Times
by Brendan Howlin

Those on both sides of the issue can agree that lying to women is abuse. So why won’t Simon Harris update the law?
The abortion debate provokes strong emotions and arguments. We all recognise that and I hope we do our best to respect differences of opinion.

But there are some ground rules I thought we had all agreed on a long time ago.
One is that debate should be based on fact, not fiction. Another is that women in crisis pregnancies are entitled to support, information
and non-judgmental counselling if they want it.

Continued source: Irish Times:

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France to sanction ‘misleading’ anti-abortion websites


France to sanction ‘misleading’ anti-abortion websites
The new law extends existing punishments for interfering with abortion to the internet, and offers a counterpoint to Trump.

By Natalie Huet

French lawmakers Thursday passed a new law sanctioning websites that aim to dissuade women from terminating a pregnancy by using “misleading claims” on abortion.

In its own controversial way, the Socialist government is offering a counterpoint to Donald Trump’s move to reinstate the U.S.’s global gag rule. A Dutch-led funding initiative to support family planning worldwide has also been gaining traction.

Continued at source: Politico:

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